Submission Guidelines for manuscripts submitted before January 1, 2012
Please Read Carefully Before Submitting Any Manuscript
Psychological Science encourages submission of papers from all fields—including cognitive science, neuroscience, linguistics, and social sciences—that are relevant to psychological research, theory, or applications. Preference is given to articles that are deemed to be of general theoretical significance or of broad interest across specialties of psychology and related fields, and that are written to be intelligible to a wide range of readers.
Submission of Manuscripts
Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to the Psychological Science submission site, http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/psci
- Types of Articles Published
- Supplementary Materials
- Preparation of Manuscripts
- Preparation of Graphics
- Advice for Non-native English Speakers
- Review and Selection of Manuscripts
- Contributor FAQ
General Articles (up to 5,000 words*), may
- Give perspectives on problems, issues, or new developments pertaining to psychology in public affairs, government, or environmental or social problems of broad concern;
- Review new developments in one field of research that would be of interest to readers in other fields;
- Present a tutorial or critical review of literature on a research problem or research method.
General Articles are not empirical papers or meta-analyses; they should include an abstract of no more than 150 words; the reference list should not exceed 50 items; and figures and tables should occupy no more than a printed page.
Research Articles (up to 4,000 words*) may present new theory, new data, new methods, or any combination of these. They must be written to be intelligible to a relatively broad readership. Psychological Science does not normally provide for the primary publication of extensive empirical studies with the full presentation of methods and data that is standard for the more specialized research journals. Broad theoretical significance and interdisciplinary interest are major criteria for acceptance. A Research Article should include an abstract of no more than 150 words and a maximum of 40 items in the reference
Short reports (up to 2,500 words*) are expected to present new research findings and will be favored if they present innovations in approach or method. The report should include an abstract of no more than 150 words and a reference list normally not exceeding 30 items.
Short Reports, Commentaries, and Letters
Short Reports (up to 1,000 words*) may present brief experiments of broad interest. Commentaries (up to 1,000 words*) and letters (up to 500 words) may discuss problems of general interest to psychological and social scientists or may criticize or supplement articles or reports previously published in Psychological Science. None of these have abstracts. They are also limited to one table or figure, and the figure may include no more than two panels.
* Word counts must include the main text plus notes, acknowledgements, and appendices.
Yes, we allow for online publication of supplementary material (sometimes referred to as supporting information). This information appears on the publisher’s website and is linked to the article.
We take the adjective “supplementary” seriously. This should be the sort of material that may enhance the reader’s understanding of an article but is not essential for understanding the article. (In other words, supplementary material cannot be used to finesse word limits!) Common examples of supplementary materials would be lists of stimuli, additional analyses, or videos.
If you intend to upload such material, please read Guidelines for Online Publication of Supplementary Material for Psychological Science, which describes conventions for naming files and for citing supplementary materials in the manuscript. Files containing supplementary material should be uploaded to Manuscript Central when the manuscript proper is submitted.
Video files can be submitted in QuickTime (*.mov), MPEG Movie (*.mpg), and Microsoft AVI Video (*.avi); acceptable audio files include Windows Media Player (*.wma) and MP3 (*.mp3). Signed release from all participants in audio and video clips is required; please use the Audio/Visual Likeness Release Form for this purpose.
The style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, must be followed with respect to handling of references, footnotes, tables and figures, and abbreviations and symbols. Permission from the copyright owner should be included for use of any figure previously published elsewhere. In Research Articles and Research Reports, descriptions of methods and results should be prepared with special attention to readability.
Effect sizes should accompany major results. When relevant, bar and line graphs should include distributional information, usually confidence intervals or standard errors of the mean.
We now ask that authors supply the original version of graphs and diagrams they create. For example, if you created a graph in Word or Excel, supply the original Word or Excel file. Do not save the image in a different file format, as this makes it harder to resize and make other adjustments to the image during production. Photographic images such as brain scans, unless incorporated into a larger graph or display, may still be submitted in standard image formats like EPS or JPEG, and should be saved at a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Please do not submit images in TIF format. (Note that these guidelines are a change from our previous instructions.)
Authors who wish to reproduce figures in color should bear in mind that color work is expensive. Authors are allowed one free color figure per article; subsequent color figures cost $250 each.
Authors who want to refine the use of English in their manuscripts might consider utilizing the services of SPi, a non-affiliated company that offers Professional Editing Services to authors of journal articles in the areas of science, technology, medicine or the social sciences. SPi specializes in editing and correcting English-language manuscripts written by authors with a primary language other than English. Visit http://www.prof-editing.com for more information about SPi’s Professional Editing Services, pricing, and turn-around times, or to obtain a free quote or submit a manuscript for language polishing.
Please be aware that SAGE has no affiliation with SPi and makes no endorsement of the company. An author’s use of SPi’s services in no way guarantees that his or her submission will ultimately be accepted. Any arrangement an author enters into will be exclusively between the author and SPi, and any costs incurred are the sole responsibility of the author.
On receipt, the Editor and an Associate Editor read each new submission to decide whether it is likely to be competitive for publication. Within two weeks of submission, authors are notified by e-mail that their manuscript either (a) has been declined without review or (b) has been sent to outside referees for review. For manuscripts that are reviewed, authors can expect a decision within 60 days of manuscript submission. Rejected manuscripts cannot be reconsidered unless resubmission following revision has been invited by the Editor.
Accepted papers are edited to improve readability and effectiveness of communication. When editing is extensive or when the author’s meaning is not clear, the manuscript may be returned to the author for review and retyping before the article goes to press.
Accepted manuscripts will appear in the print version of Psychological Science that appears monthly as well as the digital “This Week in Psychological Science” that is distributed weekly to all APS members.
Contributors are encouraged to consult the Contributor FAQ before submitting manuscripts to Psychological Science.